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Archive for the ‘Sports Marketing’ Category

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Get Ahead of the Sports Marketing Game with PPC

By | June 25, 2012

The sports industry is one of the most competitive industries out there, both for the players and for the front office. For the business side of the sports franchise, achieving sales goals is a constant battle. An organization may see many obstacles throughout a season (a team losing streak, injuries to a star player, competition with other entertainment options, etc.).  However, none of those misfortunes means your bottom line should suffer, too. By adopting a cost-efficient and measurable form of marketing like pay-per-click advertising, your organization can keep its sales goals on track.

Sports fans make up 19% of the total online audience. That means nearly 1 in every 5 people using the Internet is a sports fan. These fans are using search engines, going shopping, and reading sports news … sharing it all on social media. Running PPC advertisements is a valuable way to target them while they’re online.

Why PPC?

  • Targeting of specific geographic areas, cities, and regions.
  • Flexibility: a PPC budget can be changed at any time. Increase/scale back according to your needs.
  • Campaigns can correspond to different phases of the buying cycle.
  • Paying only for actual ad clicks from a potential customer.
  • Better leads from better-qualified consumers.
  • Data collection on user interactions.
  • Potential to reduce costs and increase returns over time.

Outsourcing vs. in-house
PPC may be complex and intimidating to the inexperienced, but that’s where professional agencies can help. Looking at 10 of Fathom’s new clients last year, within the first 90 days they saw a combined average of:

  • 189% increase in conversions (compared to previous paid-search baselines)
  • 137% increase in revenue (compared to previous paid-search baselines)
  • 123% increase in ROI (compared to previous paid-search baselines)

And the potential only grows. With our new digital messaging and analytics tool, Fathom Actify, we can gain unparalleled insight into data to produce better leads, higher conversions, and more informed business decisions.

If your sports organization isn’t running a professional PPC campaign, it’s missing out on revenue, plain and simple.

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To see the first installment in this 2-part series on sports marketing and PPC, read “Great Leads + Strong Sales Team = Breaking Ticket Sales Goals.”

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Photo courtesy of Matt Dawson Photography via Flickr.

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Great Leads + Strong Sales Team = Breaking Ticket Sales Goals

By | June 21, 2012

The formula to sell tickets in the competitive sports industry is simple at its core:

Great leads + a strong sales team = breaking ticket sales goals

Best practices in how to hire, train and build a strong sales team have been well documented and studied for years in the professional sports business. Having helped over 80 professional sports teams hire their ticket sales staffs, I have seen firsthand how much emphasis is put on building one part of the equation: “a strong sales team.”

Unfortunately, not enough emphasis has been put on the other part of the equation: great leads. Yes, sports teams are starting to invest heavily in CRMs, and others have tried scoring their current leads, but what are teams doing to capture the right new leads?

Gone are the days of buying lead lists and crossing your fingers in hope that the lead even likes your team or sports in general. Now is the time to get more out of your budget by attracting leads that are interested in your organization, potentially fit a target demographic, and have already taken an action to buy tickets from your team.

So, how do you do this?

This is where an organization like Fathom comes in to create and optimize a targeted pay-per-click (PPC) marketing strategy. Several sports organizations have tried advertising on Google or “retarget” marketing, but that is only scratching the surface. Fathom is helping organizations drive more sales with targeted campaigns in Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, as well as through “remarketing.” It’s all about knowing your audience in each platform, pitching the right message at the right time, and optimizing the entire campaign for conversion (more ticket sales)!

Drafting an agency
Picking the right partner to navigate this complex, but lucrative space is the key. Select an organization that focuses and consistently delivers on the metrics that really matter: Driving more sales with a strong ROI. Your partner should also have a deep understanding of your business and industry along with experience selling your product.

Rest assured that Fathom holds itself accountable for every marketing dollar spent with the company. We are measured by our ability to drive sales for your team with a strong return-on-investment. Our expertise and experience driving ticket sales in the sports industry—combined with our track record of driving revenue through PPC marketing—make Fathom an ideal partner for any sports organization.

If you are ready to get better leads and sell more tickets, please contact me today for a free assessment and more information on pay-per-click marketing.

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Check out the next installment of this mini-series to learn just how valuable PPC can be for sports marketing.

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Photo courtesy of j9sk9s via Flickr.

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Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From a Night at the Movies

By | May 22, 2012

You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the highly-anticipated release of The Avengers movie. In its opening weekend alone, the superhero film pulled in more than $700 million dollars. With money like that flying around, there’s got to be a marketing lesson in there somewhere.

Not long ago, this same hype surrounded the release of The Hunger Games. So, what is it that made these two movies such marvels in the box office? While Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson may want to take credit, the real stars of these films were their marketing staffs.

These films did more than just bombard people with billboards and television commercials; they incorporated social media, interactive games and targeted outreach.

The Avengers

The Avengers had several previous superhero movies to build hype for their epic film, but they didn’t let that make them lazy.

To target the younger crowd of comic fans, they created Facebook games that allowed users to become the characters in the film and share scores with friends.  To capture more mature audiences, they used apps and QR codes to showcase trailers and exclusive content. To create a new generation of comic-book fans, they released an entire collection of exclusive toys on Wal-Mart shelves.

The Hunger Games

Similarly, The Hunger Games employed a range of marketing tactics. From perfectly placed trailers during major broadcasts to an all-out social media attack, the strategies used by this marketing team proved to be more successful than they could have imagined.

Before the premiere of the film, marketers targeted younger audiences through Facebook apps and games, mass Twitter coverage and blogging. Tweens were already interested in the novels, so starting this dialogue before the film was released helped marketers grow a larger dedicated following.

Once the film was released, these same fans used social media outlets to rave about the film, compare the novel and share insights about what they think is to come.

So, what’s the number one thing you should take away from these box office breakthroughs?

By diversifying your marketing strategies and creating campaigns that target every key area of your demographic, you can grow a larger following.

Ready to employ these tactics in your next marketing campaign? As Effie Trinket would say, “May the odds be ever in your favor!”

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The “Other” Moneyball: Baseball Business Analytics

By | May 11, 2012

With the Major League Baseball season only a month old, spring fever has hit the Fathom team as we reminisce about my favorite sport: Baseball. Incomparable to any other sport, statistics rule the game of baseball. Virtually every conversation about the game mentions a player’s batting average, home-run total, ERA (for pitchers) or one of a thousand other measured stats from the national pastime.

After the release of the best-selling book and award-winning movie Moneyball, there is more attention than ever on statistics in baseball. Though with less fanfare than the player side of the game, business analytics in Major League Baseball is what helps teams drive revenue and provide a better experience for their fans.

Analytics has become an area of focus for most major-league teams over the past few years. Most teams have one or maybe two analysts on staff to help the organization make better data-driven decisions on the business side. Having previously worked in analytics for the Cleveland Cavaliers, I understand the many challenges that these analysts face:

  • Data coming from multiple systems:
  1. Ticket sales
  2. Secondary ticket sales – Stub Hub et al.
  3. Merchandise
  4. Concessions
  5. Social media and other online interactions
  • Lack of internal IT resources to pull and organize the data
  • Financial resources for analysis tools
  • Numerous analytics projects to work on for different areas within the business
  • Too much data to analyze with such a small team

Most professional sports teams do not have the internal resources to fully maximize the revenue opportunities that analytics provide. This is where an experienced team like the one at Fathom can help: gaining a better understanding of your fans, identifying the indicators that lead to a purchase, and strategically marketing to those fans to drive significantly more revenue.

Fathom also offers “do-it-yourself” tools for organizations interested in analyzing the data themselves. Our dynamic analytics tools can help save up to 80% of the time it takes to perform the analysis. This customized interactive reporting platform will free up your analytics team to spend more time on the tasks that will make a bigger impact on your business.

With all of this talk about baseball player and business statistics, it’s important to remember that baseball is a game that creates memories and brings people together. In this spirit, check out a fun video we just put together of Fathom staffers talking baseball:

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Take Me Out To the Ball Game (But Don’t Forget Your Mobile Device)

By | April 5, 2012

Mobile Marketing

With America’s pastime, Major League Baseball, kicking off its 2012 season this week, you may want to take note of the results of a recent study released by Motricity: “79% of sports fans use mobile.”

Fans attending baseball games this summer will see the beautiful green grass on the field, hear the crack of the bat, smell the fresh popcorn, and taste the delicious hot dogs. The most important sense to consider is touch: That is the interaction by fans on their touchscreen smartphone with the professional sports franchises.

So many sports fans are using mobile, therefore, it’s important for teams to have a mobile marketing strategy in place to engage their loyal fan base, promote upcoming events, and sell merchandise. As an online marketing specialist with prior experience working in the sports industry, I’m pleased to share some great tips to help you develop a mobile marketing strategy.

Mobile Website

According to Neilsen, “66% of Americans ages 24-35 own a smartphone.” A mobile website should be a must-have in your mobile marketing strategy. A mobile website will allow your fans to easily access your game schedule, purchase tickets & merchandise, read team news, and lookup player statistics.

SMS Marketing

Sports teams, like any business, are always striving to build their list of subscribers, whether it’s for email newsletters or direct mail campaigns. Why not take advantage of the SMS marketing, since it has the highest open rate compared to any other permission-based marketing method. For example, you can build your list of subscribers by having a text-to-win contest or by simply inviting fans to sign-up for text alerts with the incentive being occasional discounts on tickets or merchandise.

QR Codes

These two-dimensional matrix barcodes are commonly used in mobile marketing strategies. Sports teams can use QR codes in their printed game programs to deliver even more content to fans.  For example, a team includes a QR code, which leads to a video interview or highlight video, in an article about one of its star players.

Social Media

There’s no question that social media is mobile. Most people on Twitter send tweets directly from their smartphone and checking-in on Foursquare would not be possible without a GPS-enabled mobile device. For example, your team can engage fans at the game by running a Tweet Your Seat promotion. Then the promotional crew can bring a prize to the winning seat. Also, your team can incentivize check-ins on Foursquare by offering a special prize for the “Mayor.”

There’s an app for that!

Smartphone apps are great for increasing the engagement of your fan base, because you can offer interactive elements such as games, sortable stats, video highlights, audio highlights, and team news. App developers can also take advantage of the mobile device’s native features and implement APIs to connect to social media.

Now that you have some ideas for your mobile marketing strategy, why don’t you sit back, relax, and enjoy some peanuts and Cracker Jack, because it’s time to “Play Ball!”

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